Security Clearance Process

Single Agency for Australian Security Clearances

On December 7, 2009 Psnews reported that the Government of Australian will consolidate the granting of all security clearances under their Department of Defence by October 2010. Currently clearances are granted by more than 100 different agencies using 50 separate investigative service providers.

“The new approach is expected to save $5.3 million a year and improve the security vetting process by ensuring Public Servants and business contractors have a single clearance effective across Government.  It was also designed to address unnecessary regulation and remove inconsistencies within the current system.”

Australia only processes about 50,000 federal security clearances a year (about 6% of the number processed in the U.S.), but it’s still commendable that government agencies there are wililng to surrender authority for their own security clearances to a single agency in order to create a monolithic system that promises greater efficiency and consistency.

Comment Archive

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    Mixed feelings about this. One GIANT bureaucracy is probably a bad idea. If the govt could do it, I think they would have done so by now. It may save money in Australia, but in the U.S. it would costs billions more as the government makes no money and their salaries far exceed a contractor’s. At least the contract companies have a stake in getting paid and they can get rid of the poor performers without an act of god and 100 lawyers, whereas the govt allows sub par performers to stay on. Besides, there is no way our agencies would ever give up power to another. We can’t even get them to share info to protect us let alone for a clearance.

    WOW!!! I am ranting, so that’s all.

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    BW: Actually the US Government has made significant progress in consolidating adjudication facilities. If you were around in the 1970’s you probably remember that there were about 10,000 clearance adjudication sites just within DoD. Now there are only 10 DoD CAFs. I think more consolidation is a good thing for both US adjudicative facilities and investigative agencies. Consolidation under a single adjudicative agency is probably impossible because of SAPs and SCI.

    The article about Australia didn’t specifically say whether they intended to consolidate investigative service providers. I’m a strong proponent of using contract investigative service providers. I just don’t like the way it’s being managed now.

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    Hey William,

    Sorry the 70’s a little before my time 🙂 I see your point. I believe the adjudications could be integrated into a single facility for all levels of access. I don’t know why we have the need for more than one. I believe the use of contractor’s is a must, but am perplexed on how the OPM FISD folks make so much more money than contractors yet produce much less work. This process is not “Rocket Science” and I am amazed on how disorganized it really is. I can’t pinpoint one single reason outside of staffing and funding. I will gladly admit I’m wrong when I see the day we have agencies share anything. Sharing may cause a lessening of the folks’ power base and I am very skeptical.